EDISON, NJ — After two years of virtual festivals, the New Jersey Teen Arts Festival returned in 2022 in person. On June 1, 31 Columbia High School visual arts students attended the 2022 NJ Teen Arts Festival at Middlesex County College in Edison. Students were chaperoned by art teachers Kirk Maynard and Kandice Stewart, as well as visual and performing arts supervisor James A Manno.
During the two festival days, esteemed young artists, teachers and professional artists from around the state came to critique art, as well as to teach workshops and master classes in their individual specialties, including drama, filmmaking, voice, acting, instrumental music and more. Columbia High School students seized the chance to participate in many of the workshops and classes provided.
Prior to the state festival, students in their home schools prepared and practiced their chosen art presentations for critiques and critical analysis in one or two art disciplines at the county level. Students who excelled in their particular art form were selected to be sent to the state level competition. Only students who were invited to participate were adjudicated by state level judges.
During the state festival, students who were invited received valuable feedback about their art in group and individual critiques, both written and verbal, and had the option to sit in on the critiques of other emerging artists in their discipline, increasing their educational experience. Professional artists at the festival provided in-depth critical reviews and analyses of student work, performances and group presentations.
10th-grade art 3 honors student Samuel Taber-Kewene was nominated by the Essex County Teen Arts Program to exhibit a piece of his art at the festival for adjudication.
The CHS students who attended the festival were Mariam Abbas, Ella Abramson, Maxwell Agyare, Ruby Aylward, Evelyn Belisle, Cameron Dickson, Patrick Doherty, Bonney Donachie, Daliah Friedland, Susana Garcia, Abby Haskins, Bridget Heindl, Roselynn Holdbrook, Elisha Josius, Aidan Kemp, Susanna Knutsen, Anthony Offiah, Sofia Perales-Buck, Cosgrove Reiley, Ellie Rojer, Sasha Rojer, Lila Rosenthal, Ruby Shivers, Veronica Smith-Cooper, Brooke Sockwell, Berit Spiesel, Pablo Stein, Andre Sylvester Jr., Taber-Kewene, Pilar Juliet Uhl and Imaan Zubieta.
Photos Courtesy of James A. Manno